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Tags David Gilroy , murder cases , Scotland cases

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Old 17th September 2018, 08:43 AM   #441
NightOfTheDemon
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Gilroys stopping points between Tyndrum to Inveraray and Inveraray to Tyndrum depend on whether he disposed of the body between 13.23 and 15.51 and then returned to the same area between 18.59 and 21.08 to complete the job, which seems the most likely scenario.

If he did then the Rest and be Thankful area does not make sense as a disposal site because of the route he took to go back to Edinburgh and although the police think the vegetation on his car is specific to the Rest and be Thankful I agree that this does not necessarily mean that the Rest and be Thankful is the disposal site.

If he planned to go back to Edinburgh via the A82 on the west side of Loch Lomond then it would have been quicker to drive east from Inveraray on the A83 to get to the A82 rather than go past Tyndrum at 21.08.

He drove back to Edinburgh from Inveraray to Tyndrum to Crianlarich to Tarbet then down the west side of Loch Lomond instead of going from Inveraray to Tarbet on the much quicker A83 route therefore adding nearly 40 minutes of driving to his journey.

This does indicate that the A819 and A85 roads were an essential part of his disposal plan and he did not go near the Rest and Be Thankful or he did and it was part of an elaborate diversionary tactic.

If the police are wrong about the Rest and be Thankful area as a disposal site then they have wasted a lot of time and money searching in the wrong area and very little time searching on the A819 and A85 between Inveraray and Tyndrum.

But unless there is evidence found near the A819 and A85 then the police will not conduct a search there.

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Old 17th September 2018, 08:57 AM   #442
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Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
If the police are wrong about the Rest and be Thankful area as a disposal site then they have wasted a lot of time and money searching in the wrong area and very little time searching on the A819 and A85 between Inveraray and Tyndrum.

If the police were wrong about Malta as the place where the Lockerbie bomb was put on the plane then they wasted a lot of time and money pursuing the wrong culprits and spent very little time looking at the events that happened at Heathrow airport that afternoon.

But that's exactly what happened. So call me cynical, but why would I not assume they might have done the same thing again?
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Old 17th September 2018, 09:23 AM   #443
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I read somewhere that a principle reason for the investigators becoming fixated on the Rest and Be Thankful area was that Gilroy seemed to be trying to draw the conversation elsewhere when they asked him about it. If true, that is an enormous red flag for a wrong turning. It's no more than an investigator hunch, which is the worst possible reason for homing in on one line of inquiry and neglecting others.

I just spent two and a half weeks riding a pony across Sutherland, including several days when we didn't really see a road. Someone in the party quipped, hell of a good place to hide a body up here! and I said, you'd be surprised.

First, there's the getting of the body deep into a wild area, without benefit of pony (or quad cycle). Even if you're prepared to break the suspension there's a limit to how far off-road you can take an ordinary saloon car. Second, it's not as wild as people often think. Deer are stalked, grouse are shot, cattle and sheep raised, trail riders and walkers go past. You can't guarantee not to be seen while you're trying to conceal a body, and the chances of it being discovered later aren't as remote as people often think.

But if the searchers have no clue at all about where to look, there's a hell of a lot of sheer geography out there. I think he got lucky. Nobody saw him stashing the body, and nobody has happened across it. Yet. It does seem a real shame that they spent all that time and effort searching in what could well have been the wrong place though. If they'd put the same amount of effort into the A819 and A85 route, and the minor and forestry roads leading off that, I wonder if they would have found something?
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Old 17th September 2018, 11:22 AM   #444
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Gilroy, in his suit, has the option of digging a hole to bury the body, hiding the body in dense forest or submerging the body (weighed down) in water.

Digging a hole takes time and means exposing his suit to dirt which was not evident when he arrived at Lochgilphead School.

Hiding the body in dense forest risks someone stumbling across the body at a later date.

Submerging the body is quicker with less risk of being spotted and less chance of getting his suit getting covered in dirt.

Loch Awe which borders the north end of the A819 seems like the most obvious location for disposal
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Old 17th September 2018, 12:42 PM   #445
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We looked at the Loch Awe option much earlier in the thread, because it's kind of obvious, and because it has always been my preferred "disposing of the body" location (I mean on my own behalf!) I'm referring specifically to the section of the A85 in the Pass of Brander where it's almost out on stilts above the loch at a point where there is a precipitous drop to a very deep depth. My mother used to freak out driving along there. But again it ain't that simple.

The places where there is a very steep drop into deep water are all busy roads. If this had been in the middle of the night I'd be more inclined to the idea, but stopping on the A85 and simply heaving a body over the side is the act of an absolute madman. Especially in the middle of the afternoon, or even in the earlyish evening at a time of year when it would still have been broad daylight. Other parts of the loch have the problem of getting the body out to where the water is really deep, and how do you do that without a boat? And without being seen? Lochsides aren't good places for concealment.

Someone else also talked about how hard it is to sink a body so that it won't come up to the surface. He'd have had to do a lot of preparation with weights and puncturing body cavities so they didn't fill with gas. Would he even have known what to do? Could he have done this without getting DNA in places it would be found?

The state of his car also suggests the body was disposed of on land. Another point is the time taken. If he had prepared the body to be dumped in water, and went to that spot, and managed to find a time point when nobody was passing, it would take seconds or a couple of minutes to do the deed. What was he doing for the rest of the time? Why did he have to go back?

I sometimes wonder what he did in the way of planning, the night after the murder. He'd got the body into his car and out of the city centre and that was quite a feat in itself. The temptation to look up stuff on the internet about how to sink a body, or even just look at maps to figure out a possible dumping place, must have been quite severe. But anything like that would have left traces on his computer and I presume the cops would have looked for that. (On the other hand, did they?)

I suspect you're right about him not digging a hole. But what is possible is to drag the body to a hollow and then conceal it with vegetation and other stuff. I would be looking below some of these forest tracks. In the forest where he's less likely to be observed, and letting gravity do a lot of the work as the body is transferred downhill looking for a suitable hollow.
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Old 17th September 2018, 01:41 PM   #446
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If Gilroy drove off road and hid the body in dense forest that risks someone stumbling across the body at a later date, but maybe it is a less worst option compared to being seen launching a body into Loch Awe.

You make a good point in that it makes sense that if Gilroy has disposed of the body in water he would have no reason to return to the disposal site, once she is in the water suitably weighed down and watched sinking to the bottom of the loch theres no reason to return to check.

When I was driving along the A819 last year I did notice this layby from which Gilroy could have thrown the body over the fence, in fact there are so many places where a body could have been thrown into a ditch (and then let mother nature do the rest) and the search area is massive.

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@56.39...2!8i6656?hl=en

If the reports of his car having broken suspension are correct then we are looking for a single track ungated forest road, with numerous potholes which leads to dense forest but there are so many options on the A819 and A85 it is impossible to narrow the disposal site to a specific place without actually going there.
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Old 17th September 2018, 04:41 PM   #447
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You really need the OS maps for that. I have a subscription so I can see right down to the 1:25,000 scale, also the aerial views which are better than Google's. I've pored over the marked tracks and as you say there are too many to select one.

My only caveat was that when I looked on Google Streetview, many of the tracks seemed to be gated to prevent unauthorised people taking a vehicle up them. I agree with you that the A819 is far more likely than the A85. It's wilder country and the road is quite a lot quieter so there's a better chance of being able to leave it without being seen. (Although there's also the single-track road that leads through Glenorchy, and the similar road leading down the south-east bank of Loch Awe.)

I'm trying to put myself in his position. He may not know about the cameras so he may think the cops won't be able to track him at all. If it hadn't been for the cameras we wouldn't know that the missing time was between Inveraray and Tyndrum both times, and indeed we might not have been certain which route he had chosen to take. (The reports seemed surprised he'd gone via Tyndrum as if that was a strange choice and somehow sinister but I don't think it is, I might well have chosen that road myself for that journey.)

He knew the road quite well, assuming he usually went the same route which is likely. However, it's one thing driving a road and quite another to have familiarity with the side tracks and the countryside around the road. Did he have an OS map of the area? There's no evidence of him buying any maps, only a ton of air freshener. Might he have had one at home or in the car? I'd say not, because it was in the middle of his route and why would he need to have such a thing?

So, he knows that after passing through Dalmally and turning on to the A819, things are quieter and he should start looking. I think he'd be torn between wanting to get somewhere relatively inaccessible, and not wanting to risk his car being seen driving off-road. So possibly some sort of happy medium, not too far from the road but at the same time well concealed, probably in forest.

There's that big chunk of forest south of Dalmally, which includes the area you suggested. Would he have struck out so soon though, or would he have waited till further away from Dalmally? (I have another thought about that forest, though I doubt if it's what he did.) I'm tabbing south on the A819 on Google Streetview, looking for likely places. The first thing that strikes me is that there's a lot of good cover more or less at the side of the road, but he couldn't risk stopping and unloading a body right on the public road. He'd have had to get off-road and the state of his car indicates he did just that.

There is a track leading into the forest just here, and there's no gate. It doesn't go very far according to the OS map, but he wouldn't necessarily have known that and indeed he wouldn't really have needed to go too far. And actually, if you look at the OS aerial view it does go much further than the map suggests, connecting up with the network of roads in the forest. I think it's been extended relatively recently, probably after the time of the murder.

Then further along is the entrance you pinpointed which also connects up with the network of forest tracks, but that one seems to be closed off by a gate. It's hard to know how these tracks were in 2010, because I think there has been more recent work on them, but that whole area is definitely in the frame.

As you go further south I think you start to encounter more gates, but there's no doubt there are several opportunities for getting in among the trees. He could even have gone further south, found too many gates, and backtracked a bit towards Dalmally again, scoping out the possibilities.

There's a road running west from the A819 that the Streetview van has actually travelled along. It goes to a farm, but it passes some secluded-looking woods on the way. And further south again there's a big area of woodland to the west of the road, not long before you get to Inveraray. The two most obvious entrances are a bit iffy - one you have to drive past a house where you might be seen and the other has some muckle great rocks in the way to prevent vehicles getting in - but there are still open access points, some of which look a bit rough - like here.

There's also various interesting possibilities leading in from here, though I suspect this is getting too close to Inveraray itself for him to feel it's a road worth taking. It does lead to a track-path through a very steep-sided and wooded ravine though, the Eas a Chosain.

A particular possibility I noticed right at the north end of the route involves branching off in Dalmally itself and not going as far as the A819 turnoff. That's the road signposted to the Duncan Ban Monument - whoever he was. The Streetview van has tackled that too, and if you tab along it you can see that after passing a number of houses (which is good, why would any one householder thing twice about a car driving inconspicuously up that road) you're in a fairly long stretch of unfenced woodland. This road is obviously quiet, the trees are mature with a lot of cover, and frankly I'd go for it.

Admittedly you're not far from Dalmally here, the monument is only about two miles outside the village, and maybe dog-walkers would be an issue, but it looks good to me. Alternatively, although the Streetview van has only gone as far as the path up to the monument, there are two more tracks leading on from there further into the forest.

One point I keep noticing is that while the 1:50:000 OS map marks a lot of forest there, and the Streetview van picture shows a lot of forest, some of the forest to the west of the road can be seen to have been felled in the more recent OS aerial view. In fact there has been a lot of felling in that area in general, and I think that's when the newer and more extensive roads have gone in. Would Gilroy have thought of imminent tree-felling when scoping out a place to dump the body? Would mechanised tree-felling necessary uncover the body, or could it remain unnoticed? And not all the area has been felled in any case.

What I don't know is whether Gilroy had any sort of useful map at all, or whether he just had to go up tracks and see what was there. Without a map you can't tell if you're heading into the forest, or directly into someone's farmyard. He might have spent some time trying various tracks, hoping nobody would notice a silver car behaving a bit oddly. He might have got stuck and totalled his suspension and got vegetation on his undercarriage in a place different from where he eventually stashed the body.

But this area seems far more likely than the Rest and Be Thankful to me. I appreciate that Hell's Glen looks like the perfect spot to stash a corpse, but there's plenty opportunity near the A819 too. He didn't have that much time. An hour and three quarters going, an hour and a half coming back? A lot of time could have been spent just looking for a suitable place, on the way out.

I also wonder why he had to get bin bags and then to go back. Some scheme to conceal the body? It's all very murky but it has seemed the most likely possibility to me all along. I'd love to know how much search effort was put into the area round the A819 at the time. (The Streetview images of the most likely spots are dated June 2011, maybe we should be examining them for clues!)
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Old 18th September 2018, 01:23 AM   #448
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The problem Gilroy has is that it is unlikely he has driven on any forest tracks before therefore he is hoping that the track will not have a gate at any point blocking him from going any further or what if the track becomes impassible and he gets stuck and he would also be risking getting seen by a walker or forestry worker. Even with an OS map he would not be able to avoid these problems.

This is all a bit risky so its possible he did go off the main A819/A85 road but not too far on a forest track into the forest, just enough off the main road into a secluded area where he would not be seen from the main road and not encountered any of the above problems.

If he did go just enough off road for the disposal and he also damaged the cars suspension whilst doing this then he would have driven off road on a forest track which is not in a good condition. It is difficult to tell the condition of the forest tracks with google maps without street view.

Gilroys route back to Edinburgh from Inveraray passed Dalmally, Tyndrum, Crianlarich, Ardlui, Tarbet, Balloch and Drymen. He then joined the M9 on the way back to Edinburgh when he would have been much quicker driving west from Inveraray along the A83 to get to Tarbet, Balloch and Drymen then on to Edinburgh.

Going past Tyndrum was the best way to go back to Edinburgh for him and this indicates that the disposal site was either on the northern part of the A819 or the A85.

This is a possible disposal site on the northern part of the A819

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/56...!4m1!3e2?hl=en

If the disposal site was nearer Inveraray then the quickest way back to Edinburgh if you plan to go past Loch Lomond would be via the A83.

Inveraray to Tarbet via the A83 takes 34 minutes.

Inveraray to Tarbet via the A819/A85/A82 takes 70 minutes.

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Old 18th September 2018, 03:49 AM   #449
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If this had been a premeditated murder you could imagine him having scoped out a possible place beforehand but that's clearly not what happened. He killed her in a fit of rage and was then faced with a body to dispose of. It's a miracle he got her out of Edinburgh city centre without being seen.

You're right, you can't tell from the OS map which tracks have gates. The maps are supposed to show them but they often don't. I think part of the problem is that they get out of date, as landowners improve the tracks and install new gates to keep vehicles off the new road. In fact the OS maps of the area south of Dalmally are now quite badly out of date in comparison to the aerial view which seems to be more recent. Many tracks have been improved and extended and a lot of the timber has been felled. However, in 2010 it may well have been more like the map actually shows. Although the Streetview images of the main A819 are from September 2015 there's a version available from August 2010 which is probably what I should have been looking at (but wasn't), and most of the side roads (including the one to the Duncan Ban Monument) were done in June/July 2011.

I wonder if he would have realised that quite a lot of these tracks are gated? But on the other hand some of them aren't, and it's possible he drove around looking for somewhere that wasn't blocked off. There are routes in to be found, if he was looking. The road isn't that busy and passing drivers are unlikely to have clocked his behaviour as unusual unless someone followed him and saw him going into and out of several tracks - and he'd have watched for anyone doing that.

The same consideration applies elsewhere too of course. When we looked at Hell's Glen there were a lot of gates. But the forested areas around the A819 are actually accessible if you take a bit of time to look around. I checked the main ones I mentioned in my last post against the older images and they were clear of gates back in 2009-11 too, although oddly the one you pointed out in the post above was actually gated then though it isn't gated in the current (2015) image. (Conversely, the entrance where I said there were muckle great rocks was rock-free in August 2010, the rocks have been placed since.)

We have to remember that he did apparently get in to some difficulty, from the evidence of the broken suspension and the vegetation and soil on the undercarriage. Also that he used a lot of petrol, either driving around or revving the car to get it out of trouble, or both.

The bottom line is that there are multiple possible places not too far from the A819, which are accessible by car is someone takes the trouble to look for the way in. He may have got into some trouble banging the car through a very rutted/potholed track. The state of the tracks today is not necessarily the state of them in 2010.

An hour and three quarters to drive around, find somewhere suitable, get the body out and drag it into concealment. I think that's about right. I don't think it could easily be done if he'd spent much of that time driving to a completely different location. It takes time to find a way into the forest and then to find a suitable place, before you even start trying to manhandle a corpse. But if he did this near the A819, there are so many possible places it would need an organised manhunt.

I wonder why he came back, and used up another hour? He came back with bin bags he got in Lochgilphead. Was he intending to wrap her up so that the body would be less conspicuous? Did he actually come back intending to dig a bit of a grave to conceal it better?

It's his behaviour on the way back I find a bit strange. OK, we can assume he wasn't satisfied with how he'd concealed the body, and made a plan to go back and conceal it better or bury it. It makes sense that he turned his phone off when he left Lochgilphead, so nobody would know which route he'd taken. But if he went back through Inveraray (as clocked by the camera), then did what he had to do north of there, then went on through Tyndrum (as clocked by the camera), why then (a) did he turn south-west from Crianlarich towards Loch Lomond, and (b) why did he turn his phone on at Ardlui?

Going from Crianlarich to Stirling via Ardlui (Balloch and Drymen) takes about 20 minutes longer than going via Lochearnhead. He wasn't in a hurry despite having told the cops he'd go straight back, but I can see no reason for that detour. Now if he'd waited until after Tarbet to switch the phone on I could see a case for him trying to misdirect an investigation into thinking he had come from Inveraray via the Rest and Be Thankful rather than via Tyndrum. So leading them to think he hadn't come along the A819. So maybe he didn't know there was a camera at Tyndrum, but switching the phone on as early as Ardlui completely negates that.

Could he have thought that's what he was doing, but erroneously switched the phone on too early? Seems too stupid to be true.
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Old 18th September 2018, 05:32 AM   #450
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'Could he have thought that's what he was doing, but erroneously switched the phone on too early? Seems too stupid to be true.'

Gilroy was caught on camera passing Tyndrum at 21.08 and his phone connected to a phone mast just past Ardlui at 21.34 so this journey took him 26 minutes.

It took Gilroy 26 minutes to drive from Tyndrum to an area near Ardlui within the phone masts range. If he drives for another 5 minutes he arrives at Tarbet.

Maybe he mistimed turning on his phone thinking that if he switched his phone on at Tarbet then he could tell the police he drove from Inveraray on the A83 to get to Tarbet thus diverting attention from the A819 and A85.

The camera at Tyndrum disproved that though.
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Old 18th September 2018, 07:05 AM   #451
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Yes, that's what I was musing about. The camera at Tyndrum is actually the key to the case in that it shows he took the Tyndrum route and not the Arrochar route both to and from Lochgilphead. But suppose Gilroy didn't know the camera was there, suppose he didn't even think his car could be tracked by any cameras on the route at all?

I was surprised by how little CCTV evidence there was of his journey. I think in his position I'd have expected the police to have access to road cameras that could track me. But maybe not. The Traffic Scotland cameras only take a photo about every 20 minutes (outside Glasgow and Edinburgh), so you'd be dead unlucky to be caught on one of these. The cameras that did catch him seem to have been privately-owned things attached to businesses as part of the business's own security system. Pot luck that they showed the road as far as I can tell.

So really, it might not have been entirely unreasonable for him to have thought that, at least once he was out of the city, nobody would know where he'd been. There are several possible routes to Lochgilphead, but in terms of getting over to Loch Fyne it comes down to either the Rest and Be Thankful (Arrochar) or the much more northerly route through Tyndrum. If it was impossible to tell which way he'd gone, as would have been the case but for the camera at Tyndrum, it would give a huge area to search.

So, he intends to go the northerly route but doesn't know he'll be caught on camera. He stashes the body south of Dalmally (for the purposes of argument), and again on the way back he stops for an hour to improve the concealment. He drives on. However, he thinks he might be able to hoodwink the cops into thinking he drove via Arrochar, and so distract their attention from Dalmally and waste their time in Hell's Glen or somewhere around there. So at Crianlarich he takes the road for Ardlui and down the west side of Loch Lomond, so that once he's at Tarbet he's on the road he would have been on if he'd come via Arrochar.

But he makes a huge mistake and switches his phone on at (before) Ardlui instead of waiting till after Tarbet. He's more or less kept his head up till then, is this too senseless a thing for him to have done? In his shoes I'd have waited till Balloch before turning on the phone. Ardlui merely confirms that he came the northerly route, then inexplicably detoured down to the southerly route in the middle.

But perhaps he was trying to make the search area as wide as possible, and just hint that he drove via Arrochar when he in fact drove via Tyndrum. What he may not have realised was that the two cameras at Tyndrum and Inveraray localised him much more precisely, showing that he came the northerly route and also that the missing hours both ways were between Tyndrum and Inveraray, a distance of only 28 miles and with only one possible route he could have taken.

If, despite this, the cops became convinced he'd backtracked on to the Arrochar road and disposed of the body there, that's an astonishing stroke of luck for him. I suppose it's my main interest in the case now. Were the cops somehow right about the Hell's Glen area despite the extent of the detouring involved, and the frankly senseless return journey detour that seems to be designed to draw attention to the Arrochar route rather than away from it? Or did they do the second-guessing the wrong way round and fail to understand the bleedin' obvious, that the disposal site was somewhere between Tyndrum and Inveraray?
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Old 18th September 2018, 09:58 AM   #452
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Think about it. Early reports of the case were talking about how he could have been anywhere, based on the amount of petrol he'd apparently used (possibly not factoring in very high petrol consumption on forest tracks and/or revving the car to get it out of a stuck position.)

But really, there were limits. He was known to have left Edinburgh around eleven and to have got to Lochgilphead at about 4.30, wasn't it? Depending on how fast he went, the state of the traffic and which route he took, that's at least two hours longer than the drive should have taken. Same thing on the way back. But he did go to Lochgilphead, so that puts an immediate constraint on where he could have been. A route from Edinburgh to Lochgiphead that would take no longer than five and a half hours.

But then, if you're proposing that he hid a body in that time, you have to allow time for him to have done that. We think the body was disposed of on land and that he drove off-road to do that. Finding a suitable place, getting the car up there, manhandling the body out of the boot and concealing it well (even if it's not actually buried) takes time, and realistically I think you're looking at at least an hour, probably more. This starts to point to his not having deviated very far from one of the reasonable routes between the two locations.

There's also the question of caution. If he's seen somewhere on a reasonable route between Edinburgh and Lochgilphead, that's not necessarily incriminating unless he's spotted well off-road or actually manhandling a body. If he's seen, or caught on a camera, well away from a sensible route, that's both incriminating and likely to give the cops a good clue where to look. So from that point of view also it makes sense for him not to stray too far from the obvious roads.

But that still leaves a lot of leeway. You can take the M8 through Glasgow and across the Erskine Bridge (that's the way the AA route planner takes you if you don't specify a different route). You can take the M9 to Stirling then cut across through Drymen to join that first route at Balloch. Both of these routes take you through Arrochar. Or you can go north at Stirling and loop up through Crianlarich and Tyndrum. You can cut between these routes in a couple of places too. You probably have to go through Inveraray and from there to Lochgilphead on the A83, but on the other hand, check out the B840 (that one's risky though because it's not a sensible route unless you're a sightseeing tourist and if he was seen on that road he'd have a lot of explaining to do). There's another wrinkle in the eastern part of the southern route in that you could cut through the Carron Valley through Fintry, but again if you were seen there it might be hard to explain.

So if all you know is that he drove from Edinburgh to Lochgilphead and lost about two hours somewhere along the way, you're in a whole heap of trouble. You're automatically drawn to the wild country over in Argyll, but on the other hand, have you seen the Campsies? Or Flanders Moss? That would make an interesting bit of misdirection. Even without that, and assuming he'd have waited until he was fairly far west to look for a suitable spot, there's an awful lot of geography out there. Where do you start?

We know he actually took the northerly route, which is slightly longer than either of the two southerly routes, but much less likely to get snarled up in traffic. But the AA prefers the two southerly routes, and anyone looking at a map might automatically assume that would be the way he'd go. (The southerly location of Lochgilphead draws the eye to the southerly routes, and it's only when you figure out that you have to go to Inveraray either way and realise the real choice is how to get to Inveraray that the rationale for the northerly route becomes clearer.) Both of the southern routes go through Arrochar and within a small detour of Hell's Glen. So that general area could have looked promising from the start. Did the cops latch on to the Rest and Be Thankful area at an early stage, believing he'd actually driven that route?

But, enter the Green Welly's CCTV camera, which someone had the gumption to look at. Hey look, it's his car. So now we know he went the slightly less obvious northern route. OK, that's a help. Once they know that, what is pulling the investigators back to the Rest and Be Thankful area? It's actually the more obvious route to Lochgilphead, but we now know he didn't go that way. Why would a murderer take the less obvious of two alternative routes, and then double back and plant the body very close to the more obvious route? It doesn't make sense.

Apparently Gilroy raised their suspicions by not wanting to talk about the Rest and Be Thankful area when he was interviewed. Really? Was he keen to talk about anywhere? We read reports about a mobile phone ping at Glen Croe, but that turns out not to be true. We read about someone seeing a silver car parked up somewhere, but unless the witness got the number it's far from certain (indeed quite unlikely) it was Gilroy. The vegetation/soil on his car is said to have come from the Argyll Forest. Except before that it was the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, wasn't it? I very much doubt that you can exclude any location in that general area on the basis of soil and vegetation analysis. You might say it's consistent with a particular location, but consistent enough to rule out Dalmally or Glen Aray for example? I doubt it.

And on the other hand, that odd detour down through Ardlui on the way back could actually be the act of a man who wants any investigation to think he drove the more obvious route via Arrochar, and didn't go to Tyndrum. (Only he switched the phone on too early.) If he deliberately drove the northerly route to distract from the Rest and Be Thankful area, but then doubled back and actually stashed the body there, surely the last thing he'd want to do is allow himself to be placed only about five miles from the Rest and Be Thankful on his way back to Edinburgh, after having driven sixty-five miles in a big circle.

Once you also know about the Inveraray camera, the actual evidence shows the lost time both coming and going was in the 28-mile section from Tyndrum to Inveraray. It's a no-brainer. Gilroy probably had no idea he'd be clocked passing these two points. The evidence is screaming Tyndrum/Inveraray. The convolutions required, including the extra driving time, to fit with a doubling back and disposal in the Rest and Be Thankful area, are major. But all the searching seems to have been around the Rest and Be Thankful, and I've seen no reports at all of a systematic search north of Inveraray. The indictment/charge sheet/libel or whatever you call it referred specifically to locations in the Rest and Be Thankful area, although they did allow some wiggle room. I don't get it at all.

Are we looking at a premature conclusion that the Rest and Be Thankful area is the disposal site, which the cops still clung to after the CCTV evidence came in? It happens. This is exactly what I think happened in the Lockerbie inquiry. They had a very early lead from Germany that made them think the bomb had come in on a flight from Frankfurt, and when this was closely followed by a humongous pile of evidence that it actually hadn't, they just blanked that. Only, politically one can see why they would have wanted to shift the blame for that disaster to Germany. I can't think why the police would have any particular preference for the Rest and Be Thankful area over the A819.

You know, I wish someone would stumble on that poor girl's body, if for no other reason than to solve this conundrum.
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Old 19th September 2018, 03:23 PM   #453
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I looked at the police animated maps of Gilroy's journeys, and although they don't give any indication of when or where these detours into the Arrochar Alps are supposed to have taken place, they do give the exact times and the post codes of all the time points. So I re-did the journey time calculations by putting the actual post codes into the AA route planner to get the most exact distances and estimated times. Here they are, Gilroy's actual driving times compared to how long the AA thinks each stage should take.

The Ardlui mobile phone mast ping is not shown in the police maps, that point is taken from NightOfTheDemon's post (hence no post code). I don't know where he got that information from.

TimeLocationPostcodeDistanceGilroy's timeAA timingDifference
11:06Thistle StreetEH2 1DF    
11:25Barnton JunctionEH4 6AS4.7 miles19 minutes15 minutes+ 4 minutes
12:09DouneFK16 6AY38.0 miles44 minutes42 minutes+ 2 minutes
13:22TyndrumFK20 8RY42.8 miles1 hour 13 min1 hour 5 min+ 8 minutes
15:51InverarayPA32 8TU27.8 miles2 hours 29 min38 minutes+ 1 hour 51 min
16:24arr LochgilpheadPA31 8AA23.7 miles33 minutes33 minuteson time
17:58left LochgilpheadPA31 8AA    
18:58InverarayPA32 8TU23.7 miles1 hour33 minutes+ 27 minutes
21:08TyndrumFK20 8RY42.8 miles2 hours 10 min38 minutes+ 1 hour 32 min
21:34Ardlui 13.0 miles26 minutes17 minutes+ 9 minutes
23:26Corstorphine PSEH12 7TZ87.8 miles1 hour 52 min1 hour 57 min- 5 minutes

Four minutes extra to get out to Barnton is nothing, especially since we don't know whether that start time was him leaving the office to go to his car, or when he actually drove off. Two minutes extra to get to Doune is also nothing. Traffic. Eight minutes extra to get to Tyndrum is slightly odd, as I wouldn't expect heavy traffic on that road at that time, but he may have taken a "comfort break" or something. He could have stopped in Callendar. (I imagine there's a shop in Callendar that sells OS maps. I wonder if the police asked if anyone had bought a map or maps of the Argyll area that day?) Eight minutes isn't long enough for anything really nefarious anyway. Then there's the "missing time" before showing up in Inveraray, and from Inveraray to Lochgilphead he equalled the AA time for the section.

On the way back there's a mysterious missing 27 minutes between Lochgilphead and Inveraray. I'm not sure how certain the police were of the moment he drove away from the school, but there's certainly a possibility that he did something before he got to Inveraray. I don't have any theory about this, but it's worth keeping in mind. Then again the major "missing time" is between Inveraray and Tyndrum. After Tyndrum there's something quite intriguing.

The total distance from Tyndrum to Corstorphine is 100.8 miles and the AA time for that leg is 2 hours 15 minutes. Gilroy did it in 2 hours 18 minutes, which is pretty damn close to on time, particularly considering that the time of arrival at the police station may well be the time he walked in the door after parking his car and walking into the building, rather than the time he actually arrived in his car. But, the phone mast ping said to be at Ardlui is nine minutes later than it should be if he'd actually been passing through Ardlui at that moment. You'd probably drive that part of the A82 at around 45 to 50 mph at that time of night, and at that speed you'd cover about seven miles in nine minutes. That would actually take Gilroy to within about a mile of Tarbet and the A82/A83 junction. If he was actually a couple of minutes ahead of the AA times at that point, which is entirely possible, he could conceivably have been through Tarbet and out of the bay to the point where the road has more exposure towards the head of the loch.

What I'm saying is that on the raw timings, Gilroy could easily have been past the point where the road from the Rest and Be Thankful joins the A82 before the time of that phone mast ping. The question is, could his phone actually have pinged an "Ardlui" mast from there? NightOfTheDemon actually said the phone mast in question was just past Ardlui. I find two mast locations associated with Ardlui, one in the village itself at Ardlui Hotel/Marina, and the other at Ardvorlich Cottage. The latter is the one that fits the description of being past Ardlui when driving south, and it's a good two miles further on, just five miles north of Tarbet and the A82/A83 junction as the crow flies. I don't know the range of that mast and I don't know its exact location, and I see there's still a promontory (the hill Cruach Tairbeirt) which could be in the way. However, I postulate that it's possible Gilroy did wait till he was through Tarbet before turning his phone back on, but by chance and the vagaries of the phone signal at that precise moment the first mast it happened to pick up a connection to was the one at Ardvorlich.

I thought I read about a possible sighting of his car on the A811 later in the evening, but if he kept his phone on after Tarbet I presume the rest of his journey is well documented by multiple connections. These might provide some support for the theory that he was already past Tarbet by 21:34, if we had the data. Who knows.

So I think two points have come out of this. First, it's not impossible that Gilroy actually drove down the Loch Lomondside road that evening with the specific intention of misleading any investigation into thinking that he'd come back by the A83 across the Rest and Be Thankful, rather than the northerly route through Tyndrum. To this end, he switched his phone on just as he was leaving Tarbet, but by chance its first connection was to a mast north of the critical junction. Since the police already knew he'd come through Tyndrum thanks to the Green Welly's CCTV camera, any significance of this was entirely lost.

Second, did he just leave Lochgilphead about half an hour later than the police thought he did, or did he stop or detour between there and Inveraray for some reason we might be interested in? Dumping large-scale OS maps he'd rather the police didn't know he had? Dumping protective clothing he'd taken with him to protect his nice suit while he dug a grave? Just brainstorming here.
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Old 19th September 2018, 05:32 PM   #454
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*Callander

Just too late to edit that typo. I can never spell the name of that damn place!

And just lookie what we have here. https://goo.gl/maps/FUcdR4tQY4G2 http://deckledged.blogspot.com/2015/...callander.html

His route would take him right past that shop. On-street parking right outside, and it's open all day every day without closing for lunch.

It's a second-hand and antiquarian bookshop but I'd be surprised if they didn't carry OS maps. Indeed, look at the photo in this link. https://www.librarything.com/venue/3...rd-publishers- I can't be sure but there's a carousel display visible in the window which may be leaflets about tourist attractions but I think I see the cover of an OS map in there.

Or what about this? https://goo.gl/maps/afU8qUucbcn

Again he would have driven right past this shop. In fact he would have passed this one first, but King's Bookshop is only about 300 yards further along, on the same side of the street. He'd have had to go part of the way towards the bookshop if he'd seen the newsagent and wanted to park.

If you can't get a decent selection of OS maps in one or other of these shops, in a popular tourist town, I'd be very surprised. The map you want is the Explorer 360. Pot luck if they had that one, but it's not impossible as shops usually keep a fair range. This is wild speculation of course, but if he realised he really needed a map to figure out where to go, and was prepared to risk someone remembering selling that map to someone that day, eight minutes of a stop in Callander Main Street would probably do the business.
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Old 20th September 2018, 06:58 AM   #455
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I've re-done the table slightly to place the Loch Lomondside phone mast ping at Ardvorlich rather than Arrochar itself. This alters the timings slightly but still comes to much the same conclusion. NightOfTheDemon, can you confirm that it is actually the Ardvorlich mast we're talking about here?

TimeLocationPostcodeDistanceGilroy's timeAA timingDifference
11:06Thistle StreetEH2 1DF    
11:25Barnton JunctionEH4 6AS4.7 miles19 minutes15 minutes+ 4 minutes
12:09DouneFK16 6AY38.0 miles44 minutes42 minutes+ 2 minutes
13:22TyndrumFK20 8RY42.8 miles1 hour 13 min1 hour 5 min+ 8 minutes
15:51InverarayPA32 8TU27.8 miles2 hours 29 min38 minutes+ 1 hour 51 min
16:24arr LochgilpheadPA31 8AA23.7 miles33 minutes33 minuteson time
17:58left LochgilpheadPA31 8AA    
18:58InverarayPA32 8TU23.7 miles1 hour33 minutes+ 27 minutes
21:08TyndrumFK20 8RY42.8 miles2 hours 10 min38 minutes+ 1 hour 32 min
21:34Ardvorlich 15.5 miles26 minutes21 minutes+ 5 minutes
23:26Corstorphine PSEH12 7TZ85.3 miles1 hour 52 min1 hour 53 min- 1 minute

Gilroy took about three minutes longer than the AA time for the entire Tyndrum-Corstorphine leg. However, if he was actually passing the mast at Ardvorlich when the connection was made, he was already five minutes behind at that point and must have made up a couple of minutes in the latter part of the journey. This is of course entirely possible.

Nevertheless, the Corstorphine time point probably relates to him walking into the police station after finding his way there (after dark), parking his car, and walking to the building. This is a far more probable source of a few minutes lost time than the straightforward 15-mile run from Tyndrum to Ardvorlich on what were probably pretty empty roads.

If he was running to time compared to the AA estimate, he'd have been about four miles south of Ardvorlich by the time the connection was made. Tarbet is 5.6 miles south of Ardvorlich. So, a strict calculation based on the AA timings (which seem to be pretty good estimates) puts Gilroy still north of the A82/A83 junction at 21:34, but only by a mile and a half.

It's inconclusive, obviously. To actually get him south of the junction at 21:34 we have to assume he was running a couple of miles - maybe three minutes - ahead of the AA timings by then, and presumably lost six minutes or so at Corstorphine - finding the police station, parking, and walking to the building. It's entirely possible, and the fact that a straight calculation puts him so close to Tarbet (rather than back at Ardlui or even at Ardvorlich) is certainly suggestive. But no more than that.

Everything really hinges on whether it's possible for a phone being switched on in a car some half a mile or a mile south of the junction has any chance at all of making a connection to the Ardvorlich mast about six miles to the north. I actually have no idea. Is there any way we could find out?
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Old 20th September 2018, 03:09 PM   #456
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OK, I've changed my mind about where to look for the body.

After failing to find the wall map of Scotland's soil that used to be in one of the corridors of the Peter Wilson building I did what I should have done in the first place and looked online. The map I found is relatively low resolution and uses quite old data, but the modern high-resolution project hasn't yet reached the Highlands. It's here. http://map.environment.gov.scot/Soil_maps/?layer=1

The crucial thing is that there is indeed a significant difference in basic soil types between the Arrochar Alps and the area between Dalmally and Inveraray. Looking at the Arrochar Alps, if they found soil typical of there it has to have been the red-coded stuff, "peaty podzols". While there are a few enclaves of that just north of Inveraray it seems very unlikely Gilroy would have coincidentally hit on one of these, when the predominant soil type there is the green stuff, "peaty gleys". Only a small amount of peaty gleys in the Arrochar Alps. So I would agree that it's likely the soil analysis could reasonably exclude the Inveraray-Dalmally section to a fairly high degree of certainty.

However, if you look at the area between Tyndrum and about Inverlochy, and extensively to the north and south of that, it's a different matter. The distribution of soil types there is identical to the distribution in the Arrochar Alps. Now this is crude compared to the sort of analysis that would be available to a forensic investigation, and it's possible a detailed analysis would be able to find significant differences, but if Suzanne isn't in the Arrochar Alps it looks as if the area just west of Tyndrum, and (probably) to the north of that may be the place to look.

This is really Glen Lochy, Glen Orchy and the A82 north of Tyndrum. Leaving Tyndrum, heading for Dalmally and Inveraray, one would naturally turn left leaving the A82, on to the A85. However this junction is about a hundred yards past the Green Welly Stop, so he could have gone either way at the junction, either left to Dalmally or straight on as the A82 turns north towards Glencoe. I did wonder about this area earlier, because it fits with the possibility Gilroy was trying to get the dumping location as far north as possible, away from the natural route to Lochgilphead via Arrochar. The most northerly point of the northern route is just after Tyndrum, and if he wanted to go as far off piste as possible, turning even further north here would make some sense. I think in this area there would be a much higher chance of finding a soil type that matched the predominant soil in the Arrochar Alps, although of course that's not something he would have known. I speculated earlier in the thread about the single-track B8074 from Inverlochy to Bridge of Orchy, and the forest tracks to the west. The B8024 is pretty much a dirt track itself, although probably not suspension-smashing unless it was badly potholed in the freezing winter of 2009-10 and hadn't been repaired by early May. (Actually that's a possibility, similar roads round here can be appalling following a bad winter and the council can take a while to get to them. 2009-10 involved enormous heaps of snow and spring came late.)

I looked earlier at this track. https://goo.gl/maps/ShhbMT1sv8x It's a leisure destination with mountain bike trails, and my main concern was that it might not be deserted enough. On the other hand there's good access into the forest tracks with no gate, and they form an extensive network which goes quite high. I wonder whether there would be people around in the early afternoon on a Wednesday which was two days after a bank holiday? Much of the trail area there is in an enclave of "mineral podzols" but there are certainly "peaty podzols" around.

Or else there's here, right up at Bridge of Orchy, and you could get there either on the B8074 or directly from Tyndrum on the A82. https://goo.gl/maps/cf2KjMFVbxo I'm talking about the track through the trees, not the West Highland Way to the right. It doubles back to the previous one, though I'm not sure if they meet in the middle. Not according to the OS map, but on the aerial view there may be new tracks that do. From this end it's peaty podzols all the way.

He could have totalled his suspension up there no trouble, especially as I suspect the better-looking tracks may be newer than 2010. The tracks go high, traversing a steep slope, which would be a useful place to manhandle a body downhill and let gravity do half the work for you.

Well, again it's speculation. It may be that the soil forensics guys can say no, can't have been there, must have been in the Arrochar Alps. But I can't shake the feeling that Gilroy's whole plan, assuming he had one, was to take the north route and dispose of the body somewhere there, in the hope that the police would think he'd taken the Arrochar route and search further south. In that case, going even further north after Tyndrum makes sense. I know he was a violent madman, but he was cunning and he got away with hiding the body, and he didn't do that by completely losing his head. And yet the senseless driving around the landscape the police postulate he did is the act of someone who has lost all contact with reality.

He must have taken risks when he was scoping out and finding a disposal site. If he hadn't, he'd never have off-loaded the body at all. He just got away with the risks. I still have a crawling suspicion he had an OS map though. Otherwise it would have been sheer blind luck finding a track that led uphill into the forest rather than depositing him in somebody's neat farm steading right under the farmhouse window.

Actually, that suspension. The car was "virtually undrivable". Really? He drove the thing 100 miles from Tyndrum to Corstorphine at pretty much bang on the speed the AA route finder projects for that route. Somebody was exaggerating the seriousness of the damage, methinks.
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Old 21st September 2018, 05:51 AM   #457
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The information about Ardlui and the phone signal was from heraldscotland.com from 3rd march 2012 and the phone expert Mr Tarpey said that the phone signal was picked up IN Ardlui. The soil info is very interesting.
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Old 21st September 2018, 08:22 AM   #458
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I'll have a look for that. Because if the time was 21:34 then it's too late for Ardlui itself and still too late for Ardvorlich, really.

Tyndrum is 13 miles from Ardlui and 15.5 miles from Ardvorlich. He was clocked in Tyndrum at 21:08 so that's 26 minutes. To have taken 26 minutes to get to Ardlui is an average speed of only 30 mph, and even getting as far as Ardvorlich it's less than 36 mph. I've driven that road. You'd really be holding back to keep your speed down so low unless there was snow on the ground or you were tailing a tractor. Neither of which is likely at nine in the evening in early May.

Gilroy's average speed for the 100 miles from Tyndrum to Edinburgh was 44 mph. It's difficult to know what his split times would be because there are sections where he'd have to slow up quite a lot (Balloch, Stirling and the last couple of miles into Edinburgh itself), but then there's a fair chunk of motorway too. However, since that average speed is also the AA web site's predicted time to cover the journey, I think it's not unreasonable to use their split times, and by that calculation he should have been within a couple of miles of Tarbet by 21:34.

The AA's suggested time for Tyndrum to Tarbet is 32 minutes, so I admit I'm pushing the envelope the other way by six minutes by suggesting he might have reached Tarbet by 21:34. But to Ardlui is only 17 minutes, putting him nine minutes behind, and to Ardvorlich it's 21 minutes, still five minutes behind.

He wasn't an idiot. We know he deliberately turned his phone off soon after leaving Edinburgh and left it off till he got to Lochgilphead, obviously to make sure his route couldn't be tracked. He turned it off again when he left Lochgilphead. Apart from the lost time on the return journey, the two big questions are, why on earth did he take the A82 at Crianlarich rather than staying on the A85, and why did he turn his phone on again?

Turning the phone on suggests he wanted to be tracked for that part of his route. On his outward journey he took the northern route the whole way and his phone was off the entire time. On his return journey he started out on the northern route but half way he deviated from it and took that detour which took him down to the southern route at Tarbet. It makes complete and absolute sense if he wanted to give the investigators the impression that he'd taken the southern route the whole time, that he'd do this on the way back and arrange that he could be tracked once he was on the southern route. It makes no bloody sense at all that he'd switch his phone back on while he was still on the detour, before he'd got his wheels on the southern route. If I'd been in his shoes I'd have waited till I was running into Luss, but I could accept that he'd do it once he was at Tarbet itself. Not at Ardlui though.

It sounds from what you say here that Mr Tarpey was referring to the Ardlui mast rather than the Ardvorlich one. Curiouser and curiouser. Of course, you can't tell where a mobile handset is physically when it makes a connection, you can only note which mast it connected to and the radius of coverage of the mast gives you the parameters of where that phone can have been at that time. Rural masts have a much wider radius of coverage than urban ones and strange things can happen in the middle of all these hills. But Ardlui picking up a phone at Tarbet? I wouldn't have thought so.

Maybe I'm trying too hard to massage this in the direction of a rational explanation. Maybe it is the rational explanation but he mistook Ardlui for Tarbet on the road. (How can you mistake Ardlui for Tarbet? If that's what he did, why was he nine minutes behind time at that point?) I just want to know!
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Old 21st September 2018, 08:59 AM   #459
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Great find, NightOfTheDemon.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/...on_his_hands_/

Quote:
Mobile phone expert John Tarpey, 47, spoke about how he analysed records in a bid to discover a phone's whereabouts between May 4 and May 5, 2010.

Mr Tarpey told the court that each time a person uses a mobile phone, a record of the phone mast used to make the call is generated by phone providers. Lothian and Borders Police wanted Mr Tarpey to study the masts used by a mobile phone number which ended in 815. On May 4, 2010, the phone used masts in the Edinburgh area.

On May 5 it started using masts in the capital, but later, it used a mast in the Stirling area. Between midday and 4pm, the user appeared to turn the handset off. At 4pm, the phone started using masts in the Inveraray to Lochgilphead area.

At 6.57pm on May 5, the person using the phone used a mast in the Inveraray area.

However, Mr Tarpey said the phone was not next used until 9.34pm in Ardlui on Loch Lomondside.

Mr Tarpey told Mr Prentice, the phone next used masts in the Loch Lomondside area.

He told the prosecution lawyer it was likely the phone was switched off between 6.57pm and 9.34pm.

You know, that's even more suggestive. On the outward journey he kept the phone on until he got to Stirling, then he turned it off. Where do the northern and southern routes split on the east side? Stirling. He turned it back on at four o'clock, which is nine minutes after he passed through Inveraray. Where do the northern and southern routes meet up again on the west side? Inveraray.

On the way back he kept the phone on until three minutes to seven, a minute before he was clocked by the Inveraray CCTV. He turned it on again on Loch Lomondside, (frustratingly) apparently slightly before his detour took him back on to the southern route.

It looks very much like a deliberate switching on when he was on a road that would form part of the southern (Arrochar) route, but switching off when he was on a road that identified his actual route as the northern (Tyndrum) one. It's almost too neat to be true, apart from that oddly early switching on before he got to Tarbet.

By the way, do you remember why you said this in your earlier post?

Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
... his phone connected to a phone mast just past Ardlui at 21.34 so this journey took him 26 minutes.

"Just past Ardlui" sounds like Ardvorlich, but the Herald quote says "in Ardlui". That's a journalist paraphrasing though, is there another source that reports Tarpey as saying "just past"? I'm thinking that the Ardvorlich mast is probably a better bet for being picked up at Tarbet than the Ardlui one. The Ardlui one is at the marina so on the loch shore. I think the Ardvorlich one may be on a hill. So this is possibly a relevant distinction.
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Old 21st September 2018, 09:44 AM   #460
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Taking into account Gilroy would not be aware of getting captured
on camera at The Green Welly Tyndrum, if Gilroy switched his phone on when he was very close to or in Ardlui (ensuring the switch on was before Tarbet) with the intention of giving the police a clue about the route he took then why not go the much shorter route from Inveraray to Ardlui via the A83 and when he gets to Ardlui he can do a u turn and switch his phone on and then head south. This is why I think Tyndrum was an important passing point in his disposal plan as if he returned to the alleged rest and be thankful disposal site on the way back to Edinburgh then why not do an Ardlui u turn ~ which we know he didnt do.

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Old 21st September 2018, 09:46 AM   #461
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Exactly. Also please see the edit I made to my post above just before you posted.
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Old 21st September 2018, 10:14 AM   #462
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There is a website that pinpoints the masts at Ardlui. Cannot remember the website (I am out of the UK right now) but I can find it when back in UK. The mast that I think tracked Gilroy is the one near the marina but it could be the other one located in the same area. The location of the mast was never reported.The masts have a range of 5 kilometres.
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Old 21st September 2018, 03:19 PM   #463
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I joined up to a web site that lists masts to find out what was where, but I couldn't find a simple map just showing the positions of the damn things.

A range of 5 km sounds about right, but it's never as simple as that. Depending on the topography sometimes you can't get a signal when you should be able to get one, but conversely sometimes a mast will be pinged from further away because of the way the network is behaving at that time. And mountainous areas make the signals do funny things. So I just don't know.

I tried the itinerary Tyndrum to Inveruglas, and got 25 minutes. That's as close as we're going to get to the 26-minute time between the Green Welly and the mobile phone ping. 17.2 miles. It's 13 miles from Tyndrum to Ardlui, so that's 4.2 miles beyond the apparent location of the mast. Round it to 5 miles to allow for the extra minute, plus the time the web site factors in for getting started and out on to the main road at Tyndrum. That's still three miles north of Tarbet. Checking Tyndrum to Tarbet gets me 32 minutes, of course there's a 30 mph section as you run into Tarbet.

It's all approximate, of course. Could he have been nine minutes behind the AA timings at Ardlui and made that time up later? Of course, but it's difficult to see what would have caused such a delay at that time of the evening. Could he have been six or seven minutes ahead of the AA timings coming through Tarbet, and lost the time again later? Also perfectly plausible.

I wish we had the full series of connections of the "masts in the Loch Lomondside area" that the phone connected to after the 21:34 ping. That would probably make it a lot easier to see whether he was ahead or behind the AA timings on the Loch Lomondside road. The police probably didn't care much, because they already knew he'd come over via Tyndrum so the Ardlui ping wasn't telling them anything they didn't know already. But if we're trying to figure out what the hell Gilroy was playing at with that apparently pointless detour and deciding to switch his phone on, the Ardlui ping is an anomaly.

Could he have switched his phone on prematurely before getting to Tarbet? I struggle with that a bit because the plan seems so well worked out with this being the fourth phone-switch in a series designed to show him only on the southern route. And the junction at Tarbet is anything but unobtrusive. But every way I do the sums I get him somewhere on that lochside stretch of road south of Inveruglas before you get to Blairannaich, and that is actually well within 5 km of Ardvorlich and almost certainly in a direct line of sight for a phone connection.

Why would he do that?
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Old 22nd September 2018, 07:50 AM   #464
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I read that the the reason for the 27 extra minutes it took between Lochgilphead and Inveraray was that Gilroy pulled over and spoke to the police (for what he thought was an hour) on the phone. He was asked to returm to Corstorphine police station immediately and he advised that it would be 21.30 ish before he got back. Maybe he thought that he should switch his phone on at 21.34 to check if he had a missed call from the police and he wasnt too bothered at that point that he was passing Ardlui. I also read that at about 22.30 the police did phone him and he advised he was at Stirling but that was a lie as he had a few miles to go to get to Stirling.

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Old 22nd September 2018, 05:10 PM   #465
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Ah. I was thinking that the conversation with the police happened at the school itself, during the hour and a half he spent there. But come to think of it, maybe I knew he stopped early on the way back. That would certainly explain the 27-minute discrepancy. I was also thinking he must have had to eat at some point, and perhaps he had gone into Lochgilphead to get a sandwich or something. Unless he took enough food with him from home to save having to buy anything all day. I would have thought that was one of the things the cops would have asked him about.

Anyway, I don't necessarily think there's anything sinister about the 27 minutes, I just want an explanation. I really need to go back through the thread and re-read what's already known. A couple of old links I clicked on have already disappeared from the internet, although maybe the Wayback Machine will have copies. The newspaper articles tend to stay though. I note a couple of posts of yours saying that they did search Glen Orchy at one point, which makes sense if the soil type is compatible, but that they didn't go near the A819 after the first few weeks, which also makes sense because the soil type is totally different.

If Gilroy had no particular reason for going back via Ardlui, why did he do it? He was obviously going to be a lot later than 21:30 given the detour that he'd done, but there would be no particular reason for the cops to start phoning him as early as 21:34. The call an hour later makes much better sense. He'd only have been about Buchlyvie by that time, so he was telling porkies.

He must have been fairly desperate to do something more to the concealment of the body to have detoured so far on the way back. He had the cops on his case, he was trying to pretend he wasn't doing anything nefarious, he had promised the cops he'd go straight back from Lochgilphead - and then he doesn't just vanish for an hour and a half to do whatever it was he had to do to the body, he takes a completely unneccesary detour down Loch Lomondside that costs him an extra half hour on top of what he'd burned already, for no readily apparent reason.

I think the cops formed the impression that all the shenanigans to the north were a ploy to distract their attention from the Arrochar area. But his behaviour simply doesn't make sense in that context. The mobile phone switch-on times, for example, seem designed to show him only on the southern route. How was he going to know he'd be caught on camera at Tyndrum? If he'd wanted the cops to realise he'd gone that way all he had to do was keep his phone on in the morning until about Callander. But he switched it off at Stirling.

I think he hoped the police would assume he'd gone the obvious way to Lochgilphead, which had the rather obvious advantage of going right past the best place in Scotland to get rid of a body. But he was actually taking advantage of the existence of the Tyndrum route to go much farther north.

My original idea that he'd have chosen somewhere on the A819, possibly in Glen Aray, wasn't thinking it through. Inveraray is on the obvious route to Lochgilphead. You have to go through it whichever way you go. So a few miles north of Inveraray isn't a good idea, because any investigation looking at the obvious route is going to see that possibility even if they don't think he came round by the north to access it.

Tyndrum is about the most northerly point on the northern route. However, the A82 goes on even further north from there. The soil type is still right on that road pretty much until you're almost at Glen Coe (which is too far for the time he had available). Glen Orchy is another possibility, but you said they searched there. (They could still have missed her of course.) But if he's simply thinking about getting her as far from the obvious route to Lochgilphead as possible, he could just have turned right after the Green Welly Stop and headed for Rannoch Moor.

If the cops thought that a 22-minute diversion to the Rest and Be Thankful was plausible, plus the extra time to get into Hell's Glen, then a 22-minute drive up the A82 is also plausible. That does get you to the southern edge of Rannoch Moor. He also needed somewhere to hide the body where it wasn't going to be found by accident, but we can work on that. I just don't know how you go about finding such a place without any idea where you're going, without even an OS map.
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Old 23rd September 2018, 03:03 AM   #466
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Off-the-wall interlude.

I don't think he did this, but just imagine. Gilroy has killed Suzanne and got her body out of the city centre. It's getting dark. He has to get rid of that body. What does he do?

There's some fairly wild country a lot nearer to Edinburgh than the Arrochar Alps. The Pentland Hills, the Moorfoot Hills, the Lammermuir hills. Suppose, under cover of darkness, Gilroy drove somewhere like that and managed to bury the body in a wood or a very secluded spot, just as daylight started to provide enough light to work by. He could have been back in the city by five am.

The main risk of that course of action, even supposing he'd succeeded in concealing the body very well and it wasn't going to be found by chance, is that an investigation would suspect he'd done something like that, and an intensive scrutiny of CCTV camera footage would reveal that silver Vectra heading south out of Edinburgh or coming back in the early hours. Utterly incriminating, and likely to lead to a search of the right bit of countryside that might well discover the body.

So what better way to prevent the cops spending hundreds of man-hours scrutinising CCTV footage from around the Edinburgh approach roads overnight - than tying up the same cops spending hundreds of man-hours scrutinising CCTV footage from Argyllshire?

The reason I don't think he did this is that what he actually did was overkill. If he didn't have Suzanne's body in the car with him on 5th May then he didn't need to go nearly so far overboard. Just lose a couple of hours west of Arrochar on the way to the school, or even on the way back, cover with a story about a long lunch, and let them get on with it. What he actually did was so over the top that it actually created a heap more circumstantial evidence against him.

But it's a nice idea.
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Old 23rd September 2018, 09:39 AM   #467
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The animated police map shows that he switched his phone off at Nyadd on the way to Lochgilphead. If we imagine what would have happened if the Tyndrum camera was not available to the police then they would have had to guess which way he went at Crianlarich on the way to Lochgilphead (either via Tyndrum or via Tarbet) The police would know he would have had to pass Tyndrum on the way to Ardlui where he switched his phone on at 21.34 then drove south (unless the police imagined he went via the A83 and did a u turn at Ardlui which is possible but unlikely)
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Old 23rd September 2018, 10:33 AM   #468
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By switching his phone off at Nyadd he is telling the police he did not go to Lochgilphead via the A83 as when you get to Crianlarich it makes more sense to continue to Tyndrum rather than go south at Crianlarich. By switching his phone on at Ardlui and driving south back to Edinburgh he is again telling the police that he did not go back to Edinburgh via the A83. This leads the police to think he did go on the A83 as he was trying to divert attention from that very area and the police concentrate the search there. It could aĺl be a bluff though or even a double bluff.
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Old 23rd September 2018, 10:35 AM   #469
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Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
The animated police map shows that he switched his phone off at Nyadd on the way to Lochgilphead. If we imagine what would have happened if the Tyndrum camera was not available to the police then they would have had to guess which way he went at Crianlarich on the way to Lochgilphead (either via Tyndrum or via Tarbet) The police would know he would have had to pass Tyndrum on the way to Ardlui where he switched his phone on at 21.34 then drove south (unless the police imagined he went via the A83 and did a u turn at Ardlui which is possible but unlikely)

Hmmm, that's already on the A84 although only just. My theory was that he switched it off early enough so that it left open the possibility that he took the A811 when he left the M9 at junction 10. I'm not sure if that's compatible or not. Again it's just fractionally the wrong side of the divide.

I don't see why anyone would go south at Crianlarich if they were heading for Tarbet from Edinburgh (or Stirling). It's a good half hour longer than going by the A811. If you're heading for Inveraray you either take the A811 or the A85. Gilroy's diversion south from Crianlarich on the way back makes no sense at all. It's not even as if he was unfamiliar with the roads - he went to Lochgilphead frequently.
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Old 23rd September 2018, 10:37 AM   #470
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Originally Posted by NightOfTheDemon View Post
By switching his phone off at Nyadd he is telling the police he did not go to Lochgilphead via the A83 as when you get to Crianlarich it makes more sense to continue to Tyndrum rather than go south at Crianlarich. By switching his phone on at Ardlui and driving south back to Edinburgh he is again telling the police that he did not go back to Edinburgh via the A83. This leads the police to think he did go on the A83 as he was trying to divert attention from that very area and the police concentrate the search there. It could aĺl be a bluff though or even a double bluff.

It's really weird. I didn't actually see that information on the animated map so maybe I need to look at it again. I can't make this out at all.
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Old 23rd September 2018, 04:45 PM   #471
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I need to regroup and go back to basics here. I can think of only three basic possibilities as to what Gilroy was up to that day.
  • He intended to dispose of the body somewhere around the Arrochar Alps but was running an interference pattern to persuade investigators that he didn't go there
  • He intended to dispose of the body somewhere else, almost certainly well to the north, and was hoping investigators would assume he'd done the obvious and gone for the Arrochar Alps
  • He got rid of the body somewhere else during the night and the entire exercise was an elaborate smokescreen to prevent investigators examinining CCTV footage in the Edinburgh area overnight
While the last one is possible, I think it's unlikely because the smokescreen was massive overkill if he didn't actually have a body to hide. His behaviour on 5th May was so suspicious it heightened police interest in him and actually provided additional circumstantial evidence against him. He could have drawn police into a massive search in Argyll while still retaining plausible deniability that could have got him off on BRD.

What would be his actions if he was planning either of the other two operations?

The first thing that gets me about the first possibility, which is what the cops thought he'd done, is that there isn't nearly enough phone data to establish that he took the Tyndrum route. Nyadd might just about show he's heading for Doune and then Callander, but for all he would know at the time he was still on masts that would be consistent with that weird double-back you have to do when joining the A811 from junction 10 of the M9. Nyadd is only 3 km across the Forth valley from the A811. And at the other end he was well beyond Inveraray before the phone went back on again. Going back, the same thing. Phone off before Inveraray, and back on again when he's almost back on the southern loop at Tarbet.

The other thing that gets me about the first possibility is, why the hell would he even think of taking that extra half-hour detour down Loch Lomondside, if he'd stashed the body in Glen Croe? He's managed to get in and out from the Inveraray end, twice. He's on his way back to Edinburgh. The road through Lochearnhead and Callander beckons, and it doesn't go anywhere near the hot location. There's absolutely no need at all to to a half-hour detour that takes him so close to Arrochar again.

The second possibility is oh so close. If he'd turned that phone off just a few minutes earlier, at junction 10 itself or just before it, this would be absolutely consistent with his having turned on to the A811 for Drymen and Balloch. The return journey looks even better, because a perfect explanation for taking the Loch Lomondside road is that he was trying to get back to the southern loop sooner and make it even more compelling that that was the route he had taken all along. But the phone switch-on is a few minutes too soon this time.

If Suzanne is in the Arrochar Alps, why hasn't she been found? I agree it's a hell of a place to search, but they had 100 people up there doing a fingertip search in August 2010. Gilroy was driving a saloon car and even though he did go off-road somewhere, his mobility was still severely limited. They only had to search places that were close enough to a place where a saloon car might conceivably be driven, for a body to be carried or dragged by a man who didn't have all day to do it. SIO Flannagan thought they'd find her. He himself said it was possible she wasn't there but was somewhere else.

What do you think? An elaborate bluff to draw them away from the Arrochar Alps, even though he did actually duck back in there from the western approach, or a journey round the northern loop taken in the hope the investigators would be drawn to the more obvious southern route and the obvious body-concealing possibilities there?
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Old 24th September 2018, 07:19 AM   #472
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The mast locations can be found here fusiontables.google.com I think Gilroy played mind games with the police. He turned his phone off near Nyadd and on near Ardlui to get the police to think he had avoided going near the A83. The police then think he is diverting attention from the A83. Because of this the police think he is lying and the A83 is in fact the disposal site. Throw in a quick visit to the rest and be thankful and ensure he gets seen (before driving back towards Inveraray) then the police have no reason to search near Tyndrum (I think the disposal site is north of Tyndrum or somewhere north or south of one of the single track roads from Tyndrum to the A85 and A819 junction.)

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Old 24th September 2018, 08:10 AM   #473
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I agree Gilroy was probably playing mind games with the police. I also bear in mind that his state of mind must have been very abnormal. I don't think he intended to kill Suzanne, but that probably makes it worse as he would have had no opportunity to plan his actions in advance. He spent the afternoon/early evening of the 4th getting her body out of Thistle Street, which was almost in a way the hardest part of the exercise, and he succeeded.

He had the late evening and night to plan and prepare. But did he sleep at all? Even if he allowed time for sleep, would he have been able to sleep? The chances are he was significantly sleep-deprived and running on adrenaline on the 5th. So we can't assume that his choices were necessarily the best ones possible, or that he wouldn't have made any slip-ups in the execution of his plan.

You can play guessing and second-guessing to the Nth degree on this one. Bluff, double-bluff, triple bluff, who knows. Did he know about the camera at the Green Welly? Did he know that soil and vegetation analysis could narrow down the place where he went off-road? Did he have a specific disposal site in mind when he set off, or was he simply intending to go to a general location and scout around for somewhere? Even, did he go to the same place on his return journey as he had gone to on the way out?

Was he being deliberately vague and ambiguous so that it wasn't possible to tell which way he wanted the cops to jump?

ETA: Why would he need to turn his phone on at Ardlui to get the police to think he avoided the A83? That route goes past the A83 junction quite unnecessarily. It's a fairly long detour he didn't need to take in the first place. All he had to do was go home via Lochearnhead and there would have been no question that he'd been anywhere near the west side of the Arrochar Alps.
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Old 24th September 2018, 03:45 PM   #474
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I was thinking, what would I do if I wanted to run any one of the three basic plans? This is of course with the benefit of plenty of time to think about it and no stress.

1. Body disposed of south of Edinburgh. Leave home around 2 am and drive somewhere in the hills to the south - the Pentlands, the Moorfoots or the Lammermuirs. I wonder if he had any detailed knowledge of anywhere round there? At least this journey is done when very few people are likely to be about to see him, and even if he does stray close to a house, if he avoids revving the engine he might well not be spotted. And it's dark. Dispose of the body somewhere remote and conceal it well, as soon as it gets light enough to see. He is of course wearing clothes he will not be wearing the next day. If he takes a spade, dispose of it on the way back.

Then on the Wednesday, drive the southern loop to Arrochar, stop and go buy sandwiches, then take the grub and drive somewhere unobserved around Hell's Glen and make sure to go off-road. Park up and sleep for a couple of hours. Go on to Lochgilphead. Go back via Tyndrum, just for the hell of it. Phone would be switched off of course.

That's suspicious enough to draw all the police resources west into Argyll and have them waste a lot of time looking at the wrong CCTV footage rather than cameras south of Edinburgh that might reveal what he really did. But at the same time there's plausible deniability there. Stopped to get lunch, went off the main road to find somewhere to eat it, driving tired, not good, thought I'd have forty winks. Just went back by Tyndrum because I thought it might be quicker.

2. Body disposed of in the Arrochar Alps. Head up to Stirling and Callander on the A84, phone on. Turn phone off before Lochearnhead. Go on through Tyndrum and Dalmally to Inveraray, turn left towards Arrochar and dispose of the body where the police thought it had been left. Back to Inveraray and turn north on to the A819 again, for maybe five miles. Turn around. Turn the phone on. Head back into Inveraray and immediately turn right and head for Lochgilphead. Assuming it's necessary to revisit the disposal site for some reason, do the same thing in reverse on the way back. Absolutely on no account go anywhere near Tarbet on the way back.

Maybe that manoevre would be too obvious, as if to say, look at me definitely not going anywhere near the head of Loch Fyne. But if he wasn't seen in the Arrochar Alps and that vegetation thing hadn't happened, it could have worked. Tyndrum isn't a particularly surprising way to go to Inveraray and given the roads that branch off between Loch Lubnaig and Dalmally it's implying a huge search area. If he didn't know about the Tyndrum CCTV camera that is.

3. Body disposed of somewhere to the north. Drive to Stirling, phone on. Do the double-back thing at junction 10 and go on to the A811. Turn the phone off before Kippen, and at Kippen turn right on to the B822 and duck up to Callander. Carry on to Tyndrum (well we know he did that) then turn north on to the A82 towards Rannoch Moor. Somewhere there or on the B8074 through Glen Orchy (I believe they did conduct a search there so it was on their radar). Back on to the A85/A819 to Inveraray and don't turn the phone on until some way past the town.

On the way back, frankly I'd have gone straight through the Rest and Be Thankful, but assuming he desperately needed to do something else to conceal the body (those black bags), then again turn the phone off before Inveraray and go and do it. Then this is where the Ardlui detour comes in, but I'd wait till I was running into Luss before switching the phone on, to make it look as if I'd come down through Arrochar.

What he did is more like the third option than either of the others. However, it doesn't get any material from the Arrochar Alps on his car. If he had gone in there in order to pick up some of the landscape, he'd have no need to conceal that detour and could have used it to make the misdirection more concrete.

I wonder if he actually tried that manouevre between J10 and the A84, but did it at Doune, just ducking back on the B8075? That might coincidentally have pinged the mast at Nyadd just before he left the A811 (Nyadd is 3 km from the A811), and would also have resulted in him being caught on the Doune Motors CCTV, as he was. That's special pleading though because I think it's more likely the phone would have connected to something closer to the road he was on.

Having to adopt special pleading for the phone mast connections at both the Loch Lomondside point and the Stirling end is probably pushing the envelope a bit too far.
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Old 24th September 2018, 03:49 PM   #475
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Oh, and just because his clothes weren't dirty doesn't mean he didn't dig a hole. He was leaving from home. Either a change of clothes, or something like a waterproof oversuit which many people have for going out in wet weather. He could have used a black bag to dispose of these, maybe a bin somewhere. He could also have taken a spade and abandoned that somewhere too.
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Old 25th September 2018, 06:36 AM   #476
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Ardlui phone mast

There are numerous ways he could have gone to Edinburgh from Inveraray. But he wants to give the police a clue. By switching his phone on at Ardlui and his phone is then traced going south this is the only way he can give the police a clue that he did not drive on the A83.
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Old 25th September 2018, 07:01 AM   #477
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I still don't get that, and really, if you exclude small decisions especially around Stirling, there are only two basic routes that make any sense for a business traveller who isn't out to see even more scenery than necessary. (OK, three if you include the M8 through Glasgow but I don't think that was on his radar - it wouldn't be on mine either, given the Kingston Bridge.) Why does he have to go via Ardlui to show he didn't go along the A83 through the Rest and Be Thankful? Wouldn't, you know, going absolutely nowhere near the place be at least as effective as taking a 20-mile detour to go right past the end of the road?
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Old 25th September 2018, 11:01 AM   #478
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If we imagine where he could have switched on his phone on the way to Edinburgh whilst giving the police a clue that he did not drive on the A83. The options are 1 - on the A819. 2 - on the the A85 between Dalmally and Tyndum 3 - on the A82 between Tyndrum and Crianlarich 4 - on the A85 after Crianlarich 5 - on the A82 between Crianlarich and Tarbet 6 - on the A82 between Tarbet and Balloch 7 - on the A83 between Inveraray and Tarbet. Gilroy used option 5. I agree that option 4 is an unbelievable route to take (A83 to Tarbet then A82 north to Crianlarich then east on the A85) but it is possible.

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Old 25th September 2018, 12:42 PM   #479
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Option 1 is a really bad idea. Remember, he had the phone on until he was almost in Inveraray on the way back, switching off just before seven o'clock. If he were to switch it back on while he was on the A819, say at quarter to nine, he might as well just leave them a note saying "I just spent an hour and a half with my phone off in the Arrochar Alps". There's pretty much nowhere else he could have gone from there. Not clever.

The longer he waits, the more road junctions he passes, so the wider the potential search area becomes. We know thanks to the Tyndrum camera that he had completed whatever he was doing by then, but if he didn't know about the camera he may have wanted to wait a bit longer. But if he was concerned to make it clear to the investigators that he hadn't driven north to Crianlarich from Arrochar, all he had to do was switch the phone on once he was past Tyndrum and before he got to Crianlarich. The pings would show him continuing straight on the A85 without even a nod to the A82 never mind the A83.

Why go down the A82 at Crianlarich in the first place? If he wants to look as if he hasn't been anywhere near the A83 then taking a long diversion so that he actually drives past the road-end is a very weird way of going about it. Once he's at Tyndrum the obvious way home is the A85 to Lochearnhead and then the A84 to join the M9 at Stirling. That's the way he came. It doesn't go anywhere near the A83. Going down the A82 only takes him to the place you're saying he's trying to look as if he's avoiding.

Psychologically, if he had been into the Arrochar Alps from the Inveraray end and gone back out the same way, once he's at Tyndrum he's in effect putting more miles between himself and the scene of the crime. What on earth would make him drive right back there? It's the Loch Lomondside detour that really persuades me he was trying to make it look as if he'd been in the Arrochar Alps when in fact he'd been no such place.

Parking the soil and vegetation analysis for now, and realising that the early reports of his phone pinging masts in Glen Croe were false, how much detail do you have about the alleged sighting or sightings of him or his car in that area? I thought it was just someone saw a silver car parked somewhere that could have been his. I don't even know exactly where (Ben Donich area?) or when.
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Old 25th September 2018, 03:41 PM   #480
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Good point about switching his phone on between Tyndrum and Crianlarich then continuing to Lochearnhead which makes passing Ardlui even more bizarre. Theres a crimewatch reconstruction showing him parked near the rest and be thankful on youtube, apart from that there are only newspaper reports of him being spotted in that area which have to be taken with a pinch of salt. (The newspapers originally reported the soil found on his car came from the Queen Elizabeth forest but we now know it was Argyll forest) Another thing I remember reading from the indictment was that he completely denied going past Ardlui insisting that he went Inveraray - Tyndrum - Crianlarich - Lochearnhead way.

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